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China completes overhaul of dairy standards: official

Updated: 2013-07-11 09:24
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - China has completed an overhaul of standards for dairy products as part of efforts to address food safety concerns, a health official said Wednesday.

Chen Rui, an official from the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), said at a regular news conference that the government is also strengthening standards concerning food contaminants, fungal toxins, food additives and food labels.

The overhaul is part of a five-year plan to upgrade food safety regulations.

According to the plan, which was released in June 2012, the government will improve national food safety standards by revamping outdated standards, reviewing and abolishing any contradicting or overlapping standards and working out new regulations.

Many regulations overlap or contradict each other because multiple government agencies were given the responsibility of compiling their own standards years ago.

According to Chen, who is now deputy director of the department in charge of formulating, monitoring and assessing food safety standards under the NHFPC, China has now promulgated 303 sets of national standards on food safety, food additives and nutrient supplements.

Consumers have accused food safety authorities of being too lax, which has led to multiple food safety scandals.

When asked to comment if the government will refer to food safety standards used in other nations when formulating its own standards, an official said China will set standards based on its national conditions, but will refer to the standards of developed countries.

The NHFPC will have to consider both the health of consumers and the development of the food industry, according to Wang Zhutian, an assistant to the director of the food safety standards department.